A determined seven-year-old dog refused to let distance stand between him and his owners, spending nearly a month walking home after jumping out of the family’s car at a petrol station.
The Qiu family from Hangzhou, China, were going on holiday and had stopped to fill up their vehicle. They didn’t realise their pet pooch, Dou Dou, was missing when they set off again until they reached their destination, The Mirror reports.
The dad of the family – identified only as Mr Qiu – told Chinese newspaper the Qianjiang Evening News that he and his family had been en route to visit a relative in the countryside. They stopped at a petrol station about 60km from home and the family got out to stretch their legs, presuming little Dou Dou had remained in the car.
They were horrified when they reached the end of their journey and realised he was missing.
The next day they went to look for their pet but found no trace of him. “All we could hope for was that some kind person would pick him up and take him in,” Qiu says. Dou Dou, however, had already begun his epic journey back home.
Qiu says his family were miserable without their dog and struggled to adapt to life without him. Then, 26 days after they’d last seen him, Qiu noticed “a dirty, gaunt stray” on their doorstep. He was about to shoo it away when he suddenly realised the exhausted fellow was their beloved Dou Dou.
An overjoyed reunion followed.
“Apart from being skinnier than before, Dou Dou was still his same old self. His eyes were radiating with light,” Qiu said. After a few days of tender-loving care, Dou Dou was well on the mend.
“He was tired and wobbly at first but he luckily it didn’t have any injuries and he has become a lot more energetic recently.
”Qiu marvels at how Dou Dou found his way home. The family travelled by car so there was no scent to follow and the dog hadn’t been far from home before. His owner puts it down to dog smarts. “I always thought he was a timid animal and didn’t consider him very bright,” Qiu says. “But he has made me feel otherwise.”
Sources: Daily Mail, Mirror, Metro, Qianjiang Evening News